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Standards Used in Cataloging

Descriptive Cataloging Standards

The Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, Second Edition, 2002 Revision¹ (AACR2R) (and its most recent updates) serve as the current authority for descriptive cataloging at NLM. These rules are supplemented by the Library of Congress Rule Interpretations, Second Edition, 1989 (LCRI) as continuously updated in the Library of Congress Cataloging Service Bulletin. The bibliographic records are formatted according to MARC21 Format for Bibliographic Data.

Personal and corporate name headings appearing in many cataloging records follow AACR2R rules, and corresponding LC rule interpretations. Some records were cataloged prior to the adoption of AACR2R and thus, the headings used may reflect earlier cataloging practices. In addition, name headings in all records cataloged after December 31, 1984, except limited cataloging described below, have been contributed to NACO (Name Authority Cooperative Program). The authority records are formatted according to MARC21 Format for Authority Data.

NLM applies multi-level description in the cataloging of monographs: full level descriptive cataloging, core level cataloging following the core standards promulgated by the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) (cf. Introduction to the Program for Cooperative Cataloging BIBCO Core Record Standard), and NLM's minimal level or "Limited cataloging." Serials are cataloged following the CONSER core standard record guidelines or as NLM’s minimal level cataloging. Details of the various levels of description used at NLM in the cataloging of monographs and serials are documented in NLM Cataloging Section: Definition of Cataloging Levels.

Subject Cataloging Standards ¹Updates to the AACR2R Rules are issued annually. NLM announces the adoption of these updates for cataloging practice in the NLM Technical Bulletin.
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Last reviewed: 21 July 2008
Last updated: 21 July 2008
First published: 02 December 2003
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